Economy

Putin reluctant to cut oil supply to N. Korea

Putin reluctant to cut oil supply to N. Korea”

Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed a request from his South Korean counterpart Wednesday to cut off oil shipments to energy-starved North Korea as a way of punishing the communist state for its latest nuclear test and also forcing it out to the dialogue table.

Trump has urged China, North Korea's only major ally, to do more to rein in its neighbour.

"It's a road to nowhere".

"We reserve the right to further reduce the number of United States diplomats in Moscow", Putin said to reporters in China, where he was attending the BRICS summit on Tuesday. "It could cause a global catastrophe and an enormous loss of life". On the same day, China's air force carried out exercises near the Korean peninsula, practicing to defend against a "surprise attack" coming over the sea.

"They would rather eat grass but will not give up the [nuclear] program if they do not feel safe", Putin was quoted by The Associated Press as saying.

Putin said it was important that all parties affected by the crisis, including North Korea, not face "threats of annihilation" and "step on the path of cooperation".

The exercise came days after North Korea carried out its sixth and largest nuclear test of an advanced hydrogen bomb and there is mounting concern internationally that the country plans more weapons tests, possibly of a long-range missile.

As we reported on Monday, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told an emergency Security Council meeting on Monday that Pyongyang was "begging for war".

He stressed that a military option should be "ruled out of any discussions".

"The president asked Russian Federation to help, noting it was imperative to at least cut off oil supplies to North Korea this time".

"And unfortunately, economic measures that might be adopted - they will definitely fall on the Korean people themselves, not on the Korean nuclear or ballistic (missile) problem", Nebenzia said.



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